Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Here's a recent podcast interview with Graham in which he rehearses some of his key tips for spiritiual health - and reveals the identity of the college's patron saint.
And don't forget this is just one of whole series of leadership podcasts on the CPAS site.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Or has this particular rite of passage been subverted and corrupted by today's consumer culture?
Well that's the view of the Rev Canon Dr Giles Fraser, expressed in a recent BBC Radio 4 Thought for the Day, causing quite a few ripples of controversy.
Here's a link to the BBC website essay on the topic.
What's your experience of weddings in your church?
Have they become flashier and trashier in recent years? (Current surveys indicate an average wedding spend of £20,000.)
And, if they have, should we be encouraging the happy couples (and their famiies) to take a simpler, greener, gentler approach to tying the knot?
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
'Are you watching Rev.?' has become a regular opening line beside the CPAS water-cooler. And it seems that quite a lot of us have been, with varying degrees of approval and identification.
Colleagues with backgrounds in parish ministry seem to recognise the Smallbones' exhausting experience of all-hours bell-ringing (at the vicarage door, not in the belfry), accompanied by frequently bizarre requests for help, food, coffee and cash.
Ditto the surge of new worshippers following news of a good Ofsted report at the church school.
A friend who's a Venerable assures me his management style is almost as terrifying as that of the show's vulpine Archdeacon Robert. I'm hoping his tongue was in his cheek.
At the heart of the show is the crumpled figure of Adam, struggling to find his way through a maze of responsibilities and temptations.
Interestingly, scriptwriter James Wood is at pains to emphasise Adam's sense of having been called by God to a role that, in human terms, is nigh on impossible...
So, to which segment of the CPAS 'leadership doughnut', should we be directing Adam's attention?
Meanwhile (on the Archdeacon's orders) I've offered Adam a complimentary subscription to Church Leadership - and am hoping he'll be back with Series 2 before long.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
The Baptist Times splashed them onto the front page.
The Yorkshire Post was eager, naturally enough, to feature the news of the resurrection happeing in Leeds.
Biggest coverage of all came from Church Times: five full pages.
That said, the images remain for the exclusive use of CL subscribers and - hurrah! - the recent publicity has prompted numerous new subscriptions.
Please note - all 19 Stations are now available online.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
The very question comes loaded with baggage about the nature of church in general. Gatherings where people sit in rows, sing songs, pray respectable prayers, listen to one person deliver their own thoughts on some aspect of the faith, and engage in celebrating a “feast” which offers only a morsel of bread and a drop of wine: I would not start from here if I were to attempt to redefine church.
I would go back to the Bible with a simple question: how did Jesus teach the men who were following him?
It is a difficult question because Jesus was a man operating in a culture very different to ours today. He was a rabbi, not a vicar. He grew up under oppression in a small Middle Eastern community. The climate, the culture, and the sensibilities of the day were very different. But, I believe, there are still fundamental, timeless lessons that can be learnt from the way Jesus taught the men around him.
I once sat down and worked my way through the first nine chapters of Mark’s Gospel, noting the aspects of Jesus that appealed to me. Here are some of them:
- Jesus offered his followers a job.
- He gave them nicknames, and tasks to do.
- He took them travelling, went home with them, and ate with them.
- He allowed them to break sabbath laws.
- He made use of their working skills.
- He told stories about men and workers, about violence, revenge, danger, and justice.
He showed them that they were part of something, and displayed his power in the context of their daily lives.
Jesus made following him risky and challenging, and sent them out on tough assignments. Afterwards, he gave them the chance to debrief. He listened to their stories. And he made himself vulnerable.
Daev Hopwood is creative arts director at Lee Abbey.